Drunk Drivin

State police and local law enforcement will be cracking down on drinking and driving over St. Patrick's Day weekend.

A special targeted enforcement detail, funded through the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee will be conducted from Friday to Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced in a press release Thursday. Sobriety checkpoints, additional driving while intoxicated patrols and a focus on underage drinking and sales of alcohol to minors can be expected. State police will also ticket distracted drivers for using handheld electronic devices.

St. Patrick's Day is one of the deadliest holidays due to drunk drivers, according to the release. Over the holiday period from 2013 to 2017 drunk driving killed 234 people. In 2017 alone, 75 percent of fatal crashes nationwide over the holiday period involved a drunk driver.

State troopers "will have zero tolerance for drinking and driving," said State Police Acting Superintendent Keith M. Corlett in the release.

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During last year's St. Patrick's Day crackdown, police made 243 DWI arrests and issued nearly 13,000 tickets, according to the release. Drinking and driving can result in jail time, the driver's loss of license, a higher insurance rate and dozens of unanticipated expenses — such as up to a $10,000 fine for impaired driving.

In addition to making a plan to get home safely before festivities begin, anyone who sees a drunk driver on the road is asked to call local law enforcement.

The GTSC and state STOP-DWI Foundation also have a smartphone app called "Have a Plan" that helps New Yorkers locate and call a taxi service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties and a way to report a suspected impaired driver.

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